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Why Does My Dog Pant So Much? Understanding Normal and Excessive Panting in Dogs
Dog Facts

Why Does My Dog Pant So Much? Understanding Normal and Excessive Panting in Dogs

It may be unpleasant to see your fur babies with mouths wide open and tongues hanging out—possibly drooling—panting as though they are in distress, and you may wonder, “Why does my dog pant so much? Is this a sign that my dog is ill?” The simple answer is that all dogs pant, but sometimes it could be abnormal due to health issues, heat, or stress. 

The Science Behind Panting: Understanding How Dogs Cool Themselves

During summer, dogs need humidified air to regulate their temperature, resulting in your dog panting more than usual. These may prompt you to ask, "Why does my dog pant so much at night?” Well, your dog may be cooling off—nothing more. 

The Top 5 Reasons Your Dog is Panting More Than Usual

While your dog panting may be natural, there are reasons to suspect it is excessive. These reasons include the following;

Anxiety and stress

When dogs feel stressed or anxious, they pant a lot to express discomfort.  As a good pawrent, you should pay attention to your pet's body language.


In the face of excitement, your dog may be unable to control their panting, especially when they see their favorite person and do the zoomies. 

Heat stroke

Heat stroke is when the temperature of your pet gets too high. Have you ever thought, “Why does my dog pant so much in the car?” According to the VCA research, the most common cause of heatstroke is leaving your pet in a car with inadequate ventilation, hence the abnormal panting. 


Your dog's panting may also indicate pain or discomfort. “Why does my old dog pant so much?” you may ask. They may be in pain because old dogs are more prone to arthritis. 


Dogs, like humans, get side effects from medications. According to PetMD’s research, drugs like Prednisone and other steroids cause severe panting in dogs, which fades a few weeks after discontinuing the medication.

Is Your Dog Overheated? Identifying Temperature-Related Panting

If your dog is overheated, these signs will assist you in determining whether your dog's panting is temperature-related:

  • Breathing quickly

  • Whining or barking

  • Excessive thirst and drooling.

  • Unsteady legs

Canine Anxiety: How Stress and Fear Affect Your Dog's Breathing

Most pawrents wish their fur babies could speak and express their discomfort. Unfortunately, they can’t, but they can show how anxious they feel by panting a lot through their body language. 

Breathing Difficulties: Understanding Health Issues That Can Cause Excessive Panting

Why does my senior dog pant so much?  If you have a senior pet, you could have this question. Old dogs are more prone to obesity, which may affect their breathing patterns. Some health concerns—such as heart failure, lung illness, anemia, and laryngeal paralysis—may restrict your pet’s airflow, causing them to pant abnormally to compensate for the insufficient oxygen. 

Breed-Specific Panting: Why Some Dogs Pant More Than Others

Some dogs are more prone to panting than others because of their breed. Dog breeds like Pugs, bulldogs, and Boston terriers have shorter snouts and pants way more than others. Another breed is the golden retriever, which has a dense coat and can retain heat more than others, so to humidify their body, they pant more. 

First Aid for Panting Dogs: What You Can Do to Help Your Furry Friend

Here are a few things you may do to assist your furry friend:

  • Give your dog some water.

  • If your dog is anxious, help them calm down.

  • If the weather is too hot, look for signs of heat stroke.  

  • In case they are in pain, check for injuries. 

When to Call The Vet: Recognizing Signs of a Serious Panting Problem

If your dog is panting abnormally and you have exhausted all first-aid measures with no positive changes, you should visit your vet. Only a doctor can rule out medical conditions and determine if your fur baby is okay.

Panting Prevention: How to Keep Your Dog Cool and Comfortable During Hot Weather and Physical Activity

These tips will help you keep your fur friends cool and comfortable. They include;

  • Always keep your dog hydrated by providing cool water to drink. 

  • You can splash cool water on your pet to keep them cool.

  • Make sure your house or car has proper ventilation.

  • Avoid the sun by walking your dog early in the morning or late at night.

The Do's and Don'ts of Addressing Your Dog's Panting: Tips for Responsible Pet Owners

When you notice your pet panting excessively, instead of panicking, do these;

  • Stay calm and take deep breaths.

  • If your dog is anxious, you should consider giving a furry massage. 

  • If you are one of those pawrents’, who asks, “Why does my older dog pant so much?” Obesity may be one of the reasons, so help your paw friend by incorporating early morning walks. 

However, here are a few things you should not do;

  • If you notice your pet breathing oddly, do not panic.

  • Do not force your dog to drink water.

  • Do not give aspirin to lower your pet's temperature

  • Do not hesitate to consult your veterinary doctor in case of emergency. 


It may be saddening to see your furry companion pant so much. However, your initial response should not be to worry because it may not be serious. When you are nervous or believe your efforts are ineffective, then contact a veterinarian. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my dog pant so much at night?

Panting is your pet's way of cooling their body, especially in hot temperatures. 

Why does my old dog pant so much?

Some underlying ailments like heart disease, obesity, chronic bronchitis, or collapsing trachea may be a reason for the frequent panting. 

Why does my older dog pant so much?

Older dogs may be more expressive because they are more likely to experience excitement and adrenaline. 

Why does my dog pant so much in the car?

The temperature in your car may be so hot that your pet may pant a lot to cool off. This way, they maintain their body temperature.